Sunday, 24 April 2011

creativity and place

Another thought continuing from yesterday's post, this was raised by a colleague when we were talking at length about this current concept of creativity promoting a sense of wellbeing.
With regard to creativity, wellbeing and place, then yes, place can indeed engender a feeling of wellbeing, this is well documented and generally understood by artists, writers, postmen and plumbers.......we all know this. It's a sunny day and just looking out the window will reinforce this idea, people are out there enjoying feeling good in the fresh air. But creativity...well....that's another thing again.  Enjoy the day!

Saturday, 23 April 2011


I'd like to say something out loud about creativity from my own experience as an artist. It quite possibly goes against the grain of current political correctness. Fine, so be it.

Jane Hirshfield, the American poet, in her book of essays exploring the mind of poetry says that:
   'artists have taken the task of exploring that part of human experienece C.G. Jung called The Shadow. They have consistantly endeavoured to look at what is difficult to see; to press into the realms of sorrow, chaos, indeterminacy, anger - to seek out the places where madness and imagination meet'. Hirshfield, J. (1953)
 Agnes Martin would agree; she regarded her life as an artist as one of solitariness, shunning much of what our Western culture has to offer, including family and friends, in her pursuit of a truth.

This is an uncomfortable place to be and most certainly does not promote a sense of wellbeing, quite the opposite. I acknowledge that in some instances, creativity can engender positive emotions and make one feel 'better', but that is something else entirely; here it is seen as a form of therapy. I have no issue with this and appreciate the benefits of being creative at a certain level. But at a much deeper level, indeed at its core, creativity is dark, lonely and relentless. But, it's why I bother to get out of bed every day.    
I welcome comments on this, so feel free........